The Greatest Networkers in the World— Chapter 3: The Secret Revealed
The Secret Revealed
The house and its surroundings were even more impressive from a closer look. Everything was just magnificent.
There was just the right amount of imperfection: whitewash (or rather, gray-wash) fading on the stones of the house, and a casual quality to the gardens that was all the more striking because of their lack of formality. The place wasn’t stilted or uptight, as in some pictures I’ve seen of wealthy homes. People actually lived here – and as if to prove it, three bounding dogs happily greeted me as I got out of my car on the flagstone driveway.
“Ah, you’ve been properly greeted, I see,” the Greatest Networker said, as he came through a doorway in a high stone wall that ran alongside the main house. “May I introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Silver.” He patted the heads of a huge, handsome pair of silver-gray standard poodles, their curly coats trimmed neatly in sporting cuts, without those poofy tufts of hair that make poodles look like topiary trees.
“And this is the Duchess,” he said, ruffling the fur of a little black dog that clearly had lots of Border Collie in her. “Duchess has been with us only a couple of months,” he told me, bending down to get an enthusiastic licking from a little mutt whose tail clearly was “wagging the dog.”
“We think she’d been hit by a car,” he said. “No one seems to know where she’s from. She’s adopted us for now.
“Come to my office.” He stood up, and we walked over to the smaller house I’d seen from the road.
“I’ve worked from my home for years, but I think this is the best arrangement of all,” he told me as we entered the building. “Having some physical separation between my ‘home office’ and home, yet having them this close to each other – it’s perfect.”
His office was comfortable and lived in, bright with sunlight, plants everywhere. Casual, comfortable elegance.
There were two parts to the first floor. Inside the entry was a living room with a small mahogany grand piano just in front of the windows; adjacent to the fireplace were two plump couches covered with what looked to be Native American blankets. These were facing each other across a coffee table with books “neatly scattered” on it and a clear, fish-bowl-like glass vase off to one side, out of which flowed a fountain of wildflowers – mostly daisies. There were Oriental carpets of varying sizes and colors on the wide-plank wooden floor, and a wide, sliding double-doorway – the kind where the doors disappear into the walls – that opened into a slightly smaller room off to the right with a huge, expansive desk thrust up like an island in the center of the room.
Both rooms were lined with paintings and over-filled bookshelves. I’d never seen so many books before.
“You’ve got quite a library,” I observed. It was an understatement in the extreme.
“Yes,” he said, surveying what must have numbered well over a thousand volumes, perhaps more. “I love books. I love information of all kinds – do you?”
“Information?” That was a curious way to put it. “Sure,” I said.
“So tell me,” he asked, “what did you think about the book I gave you to read last night?”
“What You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know?” I asked.
“That’s the one,” he said, sitting down deep into one of the couches. “Of all the books I have ever read – that is the most important book of all.”
I searched his face to make out his expression. I wondered if he were kidding . . . if he might be playing with me. He was looking straight at me – wide open, expressionless.
I sat down, too.
“Well . . . I don’t know,” I said.
“Good,” he replied. “Perfect.”
I wanted badly to have something profound to say – something that would show him . . . what? That would let him know I . . . but the truth was, I had nothing to tell him. I didn’t know what to say.
“There’s a story I want to tell you,” he said, plainly coming to rescue me from my awkward silence. “Would you like to hear it?”
“In Japan, many years ago, it was the tradition among Buddhist monks to travel from monastery to monastery, seeking the teaching of the masters. As was the custom, the master would serve his guest tea and they would talk.
“One young monk was a particularly outstanding student. In fact, he was so exceptional, he had made a bit of a career out of showing up lesser masters with his skill and tremendous intelligence.
“One day, he called at a very famous monastery attached to one of the most sacred temples in all Japan. The master there was old and most wise. The young man begged an audience with the master, in hopes of being accepted as his pupil, to live and study with the great man.
“The young man – whose reputation had preceded him – was ushered into the master’s chambers immediately. This was most unusual, and the young monk was greatly flattered.
“The master entered and they bowed to each other. They sat across a low table on the tatami mat floor and talked.
“The young man told the master of his journeys, of the teaching he had heard, of the monks he had ‘bested’ in his search for Truth. It was a most impressive tale. The master listened intently and acknowledged the young monk many times for his wit and intelligence.
“A teapot and cups were brought in, and the master began pouring tea for them both. The young man addressed the Master: ‘I wish to remain here and study with you, for I sense that here, unlike with the others, there is much you have to offer me . . .’
“And all of a sudden, the young monk cried out in pain and alarm, jumping up from his place on the floor, shaking his robes and dancing about. The scalding hot tea had spilled all over his lap!
“The master sat calmly and continued pouring tea – which was overflowing the student’s small cup and spilling out over the table onto the straw-matted floor where the young man had been sitting.
“’‘What are you doing!?!’ the young monk demanded. ‘I have been burned! Stop pouring! The cup is overflowing!’
“’‘Go away from me, young man,’ the master said. ‘I have nothing to teach you. Your cup is too full . . . overflowing with all that you know and all that you think you don’t know. Come back to me when your cup is empty and you are ready to receive what I have to give.’’”
We sat in silence for a long time.
As I recall, it was the first time in a long time that there were no thoughts at all rattling around in my head.
I had stopped talking to myself.
Finally, he spoke up. “You want very much to be a success in Network Marketing, don’t you?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“You know some things about how to do this business – true?”
“And you know, too, that there are many things that you do not know about how to do this business – true?”
“Yes,” I replied.
He sat up a bit, away from the back of the couch, and faced me directly as he spoke this next thought, carefully measuring out his words.
“There is nothing which you now know, and nothing about what you think you don’t know, that will help you create the success you desire.”
He paused for a moment, and continued.
“The key to your success lies only in what you don’t know that you don’t know. Do you understand?”
“No,” I told him truthfully. “I have no idea what you’re saying. How can I know what I don’t even know that I don’t know?”
“You can’t,” he said. “That’s the secret.”
Click here to read: Chapter 4: The Silver Screen